ABUJA – The National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) has warned Nigerians to beware of fake centenary celebration lottery text messages.
Mr Adolphus Ekpe, Director-General of NLRC, told newsmen  in Abuja on Wednesday that some people had taken advantage of Centennial Lottery to “play smart and defraud people.
“People always take advantage of what is on ground to defraud others. If you did not play and you are getting text massages asking you to come and collect your prize, why would you go knowing full well you did not participate?’’
Ekpe said the centenary lottery was being handled by a company, Secured Electronic Technology (SET), and not by the commission.
He also explained that the commission was not in charge of monitoring messages concerning the lottery and so could not do anything about scam messages.
The director-general said the commission’s sole mandate was to play a regulatory role and ensure that consumers were not defrauded and that winners got their prizes from lottery companies.
He also noted that the commission monitored such lotteries to ensure that the companies followed the rules of the game being played.
On the deadline for the lottery, Ekpe said the company handling it felt it was not making profit as there were few players and more prizes to be given.
“The company, being profit-motivated,  finds out that it was not making it the way it expected; so it has to stop and change the modalities of the lottery.’’
He, however, said the commission would ensure that the rules of the game were observed and winners collected prizes within the stipulated 180 days.
“If you claim that you played and won but denied your prize, come to the commission and report and. We will confirm if you really won the prize.
“We have the names of every winner and the category of prizes they have won and the stipulated day for you to redeem your prize is within 180 days from the day of the draw’’, he stated.
The centenary lottery was initially scheduled to last for 90 days but was extended due to logistic problems.
The lottery has since been re-opened after the issues were addressed.